summer 2011



Inside this issue:

Dear 2L and 3L students,

The start of the semester for students is like New Year's Day for the rest of the world. It is a bright beginning and we all seem to have a reinvigorated spring in our step. The year glistens with possibility and promise - especially with a new dean in place to lead us.

With renewal in mind, we would like to welcome you back to another eventful year in your life as a law student! We look forward to supporting you in your research and academic pursuits this year. There are exciting developments in the law library - new staff and new resources - so, please take a moment to read this newsletter.

Also, please see the announcements about an upcoming survey co-sponsored with Georgetown Law School, regarding research habits and skills. Your participation will further our knowledge about best practices and help us to provide you with the resources that you need and use.

The law library strives to be at the technological forefront - we want to communicate in ways that make sense to lawyers of the 21st century. Read within to learn about the implementation of a new mobile site, text a librarian, and our experimentation with QR codes.

Despite all these changes, one constant theme continues: our dedication to working with you to ensure your success and enhance your experience here at BC Law. If you don't know whom to ask - come to the library first. Good luck with your studies.


Filippa Marullo Anzalone
Professor of Law
Associate Dean for Library & Technology Services

Filippa Marullo Anzalone

Professor and Associate Dean for Information and Technology Services,
Law School

Law Students' Research Habits - A Survey

Boston College Law School will be participating in a national survey of law students' research habits and skills during September. Students in the 2L and 3L classes will receive an e-mail message from Dean Filippa Marullo Anzalone with a link to the survey. No personal, identifying information will be collected during the survey. We will all benefit from reviewing the survey results and learning more about how law students perform their research. We look forward to sharing more information about the data collected by this survey toward the end of the academic year.

Text a Librarian!

BC Law Library now offers reference assistance by text message. Text your simple, quick questions to 617-70-BCLAW to get legal reference help on the go.  The legal information librarians will respond  during ordinary reference hours. If your question is received after the reference desk is closed, a response will be sent the following day when reference services are available. For more in-depth questions, please stop by, email or call the reference desk.

BC Law Library Mobile Site

We have recently launched a mobile website to allow smartphone users easy access to library hours, contact information, online catalog searching, research guides, library news and events, and the live BC Shuttle tracking. Point your mobile browser to /schools/law/library/m to access all of this information on this go.

Holmes and Quest

There are now two different options for searching the library collections at Boston College. When you are on the law library homepage, you will notice a new search bar featured prominently near the top of the screen. If you run a search from here, you will be searching via Holmes, a new tool that allows you to perform a quick, broad search of books, articles, and other materials in BC collections and beyond. Typically, a Holmes search will retrieve many results - sometimes hundreds of thousands. You can then use certain filters to narrow your results. Below the Holmes search bar, you can still find a link to Quest, BC's traditional library catalog. Quest allows for more focused searching of BC's books and print and online journal titles. By using the tabs at the top of the Quest search screen, you can choose to search only the holdings of the law library. Please link to these search tips for more information.

Rare Book Room

Located on the main floor of the library, the Daniel R. Coquillette Rare Book Room is a beautiful and quiet place to study. No food or drinks are allowed, so you won't be distracted by noisy eating and drinking. Plus, there is always an exhibit featuring the works in our collection. Beginning the week of September 12, a new exhibit will be awaiting your viewing pleasure called "The Golden Age of Legal Publishing in Massachusetts." Some of the highlights are the first post-American Revolution printing of Blackstone's Commentaries, the first American edition of Montesquieu's The Spirit of Laws, many works of Supreme Court Justice and Harvard Law professor Joseph Story, and a beautiful first edition of Simon Greenleaf's Treatise on the Law of Evidence. Please come visit, and contact Laurel Davis, Curator of Rare Books, at if you have any questions about the exhibit or access to the Rare Book Room!

Civil War Research: Current State and Future Developments
October 19, 2011     12:15 PM
Library 253

The 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War has focused attention once again on this important era of American history. During the past decade Civil War scholarship has shifted its focus from military strategy, tactics and the political ramifications of the conflict to more personal and civilian oriented aspects. Join Legal Information Librarian Mark Sullivan for an examination of these new developments and for a review of some exciting new resources for Civil War researchers.

Law Library Research Sessions

The BC law librarians offered a series of research sessions for upper-level students in the opening weeks of the semester. All sessions were held in Law Library Room 253 from 12:15-12:50 during the common lunch period. If you missed these sessions and are interested in the topic, we will be happy to repeat the program for groups of four or more students. Send an e-mail to with attendees' names and indicate which common lunch hour works well for your schedule.

Statutory research methods Legislative history research for federal acts
Citators for statutes Finding other views of your argument: treatises and briefs research
Administrative law research for environmental law Researching rules of court
Administrative law research for immigration law International & comparative law research basics

Bloomberg Law Has a New Look

Over the summer, Bloomberg Law launched a new interface. The new design is easier on the eyes and is easier to navigate. Current legal news articles and recent court opinions are headlined and key resources are prominently displayed. The content is searchable by type, jurisdiction, practice area and industry. All search screens have expansion trees of available resources with links to database descriptions, so you can readily determine what is available. Best of all, selecting a database from an expansion tree opens a new tab, so you can view and compare the results of several searches simultaneously. You can access Bloomberg Law’s new interface at  Log in and give it a try.

New CALI Interface

This summer, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) launched a new interface for its CALI Lessons with a cleaner look that is viewable in any browser and on mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. In addition to being able to study with CALI Lessons while on the go, your progress will be auto-saved and you can copy and paste content from a lesson into your outlines. Check out the new look at